San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
Thursday 21st April 2016
at the United Irish Cultural Center
2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco
The meeting commenced at 6:45pm with the Pledge of Allegiance led by
The President announced Civil War reenactments to be held at Gibson
Ranch, outside Sacramento, on April 30th and May 1st.
Guest speaker Ted Savas startled the members present by introducing a
topic that none had heard of before: the USS Wyoming and the Battle of
The Wyoming was a Union warship, sent to the Pacific to hunt down the
Confederate raider Alabama which was preying on Northern shipping. In 1863
the overlord of the Choshu clan, Mori Takachika, attacked an American
merchant ship, the Pembroke in the Shimonoseki strait. When Commander
McDougal of the Wyoming heard of this, he sailed for Shimonoseki and
attacked Takachika's ships and shore batteries. Ships of other nations were
similarly attacked by the anti-foreigner Japanese forces. Eventually the
Americans, the British, the French, and the Dutch combined to force the
Japanese to discontinue their offence.
Commander McDougal returned to the US and commanded the navy base
at Mare Island. He died in San Francisco in 1882 and is buried at Mountain
View Cemetery in Oakland.
In the discussion that followed Ted's presentation, members expressed their
surprise at learning about this hitherto unknown Civil War incident.
Program Chair Bob Hubbs announced that the May speaker will be the
Pulitzer prize-winning author T.J. Stiles.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.